One of the most surprising survivors in our society, long counted out as either moribund or dead, is philosohy “love of truth,” as the Greek term describes, was defeated by science and its love of facts. So it was unexpected when the New York Times ran an op-ed piece titled “If We Are Not Just Animals, What Are We?” (March 6, 2017) by the veteran English philosopher Roger Scruton.
The piece begins by nodding toward the tradition of endowing human beings with a soul, a supernatural spark that sets us apart from the animals, and quite realistically Scruton notes that “Recent advances in genetics, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology have all but killed off that idea.” Although a popular belief in the soul is very much alive, our official secular culture and its primary source of knowledge, science, totally dismisses it.
What then? Scruton uses a split-the-difference tactic, arguing that although…
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